Tahlequah's Parks and Recreation department has finally renovated Kaufman City Park.
Renovations include replacing outdated playground equipment, updating swings, installing a new wooden border around the playground's perimeter, adding wood chips, and paving a basketball half court.
"Our new playground is designed for 2- to 5-year-olds," said Charles Poteet, Tahlequah Parks and Recreation director. "We saw there wasn't really any play equipment for younger kids in the area, so we wanted to put that in Kaufman Park."
Kaufman Park's renovations were a long time in coming, Poteet said.
"I took my son there for the first time recently, and he really enjoyed himself," said Tes Jackson, city administrative assistant. "My son is 16 weeks old, so the park having mommy-and-me swings, toddler swings and stairs for the play equipment was nice."
Jackson feels the location of Kaufman Park is safer for young children.
"The park is so far back away from the street," said Jackson. "I don't have to worry about my kid running away or anything."
The renovation process was completed over the course of four to five months, with progress being made as time allowed.
"We had updated almost all the parks in Tahlequah, but had not gotten to Kaufman Park yet," said Poteet. "The guys working on it had been doing parks for years by now, so it was easier for them to do it quickly. It was also relatively affordable."
Kaufman City Park was originally planned to be the site of Tahlequah's new all-inclusive playground. Instead, that was installed at the Anthis-Brennan Sports Complex.
"Flooding made us rethink putting the all-inclusive playground at Kaufman," said former Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols. "We knew it needed attention, and it is now becoming a recreation facility that we are proud of, within walking distance of many residents."
Kaufman City Park's final renovation is a paved parking lot. The park's entrance is blocked by a bulldozer until the parking lot is completed. Until then, parking is available at the Senior Citizens Center, next to Kaufman.
"We hope to have the parking lot done by next fiscal year," said Poteet.
For more information, call the Parks and Recreation department at 918-456-0651.